“Otoimplant” in competition for best innovative projects

Implant photo taken with an optical microscope. Photo by DSc Magdalena Ziąbka.

Technical model of the implant

The implant between a small coin and a grain of rice

The prosthesis of middle ear “otoimplant”, developed by AGH UST scientists, has been submitted in the category Life Sciences & Healthcare of the international competition “Bringing tech&science closer to people”, promoting the best innovative technological projects from all over the world. Voting is open until 3rd March, 2017, via the website.

The project “otoimplant” has been carried out since March 2016 by a scientific research team under the supervision of Magdalena Ziąbka, DSc, of the Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics, within the framework of the programme Lider, funded by the National Centre for Research and Development. The members of the team are Michał Dziadek, MSc, of the Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics, and Agnieszka Wróbel, MD, PhD, of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University Hospital in Krakow.  

“Otoimplant” is a prosthesis of the middle ear made of biostable thermoplastic polymers containing a modifying bactericidal additive of silver nanoparticles. The implant will enable the construction of a chain of auditory ossicles in the space of the middle ear and will effectively eliminate bacterial infections. The otolaryngological prosthesis can constitute a multi-function implant of bactericidal properties in a biological environment, shorten patients’ recovery period and limit the risks connected with the complications in a bacterial infection, as well as make it possible to reproduce the construction and functions of the middle ear structure by means of the restoration of a correct resonance of auditory ossicles. Thanks to the use of this type of implants it will be possible to improve the hearing capabilities of patients with a damaged chain of auditory ossicles being a result of an inflammatory condition, injuries, congenital disorders, or otosclerosis. Eventually, the scientists are planning to put the prostheses into general use and sale. 

The invention has been submitted for Polish and international patent procedures and is awaiting the decision of both patent offices.  

“Bringing tech&science closer to people” is an international initiative and a kind of educational campaign launched in order to promote and honour the greatest discoverers and inventors, as well as changing-the-world solutions they work towards. From among 650 innovative projects, 250 best ones have been chosen. They take part in the competition, which is one of the promotional activities. In each of the ten categories there will be a winner. At the same time, between February and April 2017, the projects will be popularised in over 100 countries and presented to industry organisations, chambers of commerce, and potential investors. The campaign is organised under the auspices of UNESCO in collaboration with the National Centre for Research and Development and over 50 partners from all around the world. The honorary partner in Poland is the Ministry of Development.